Overcoming Hotel Renovation Issues
Managing the problems that can arise in a Hotel Renovation
PIPs and hotel renovations are cyclical in the hospitality industry. PIPs are meant to encourage hotel owners to keep up with trends and stay competitive. Independent renovations to hotels may also happen from time to time if a hotel owner has decided to rebrand or if they want to improve the look of their property to, again, stay competitive.
While these renovations are (and should be) a fun and exciting time they can also be stressful. Instead of a kitchen, bathroom, or even home remodel, we’re talking about some 50 to 300 or more guest room properties. You can imagine why this may be daunting for hotel owners.
Being prepared is the best way to reduce hotel renovation stress and achieve a better hotel renovation result.
At Amerail Systems, we believe in preparing hotel owners and management for their hotels' renovations so they can look forward to their new and improved property. That’s why we’ve put together hotel renovation guides that will help hotel owners prepare for their property’s renovations.
In this guide, we will focus on the issues/problems that can arise in a hotel renovation, and how to manage them.
While it is impossible to predict the exact issues that will arise in each individual hotel renovation project, it is possible to give hoteliers an idea of what issues may arise and how they can be managed.
It's important to note that most renovations occur with minimal issues and that this list is to help you be prepared for any that do arise.
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Issues Before the Hotel Renovation
Should you Renovate or Reflag?
If you receive a PIP you may wonder if it would be best to continue with the required renovations or if you should consider reflagging your hotel.
Reflagging your hotel would still typically require renovations to bring your current property to the new brand's standards but sometimes these renovations can be less than the current brand's PIP.
When considering the switch it’s important to know if the investment in a rebrand will outweigh the benefits of a PIP renovation and staying within your existing brand or flag.
As-builts are the architectural plans for your property. These plans are vital for your renovation team to provide you with accurate construction and transformation plans.
What to look for: Exterior elevations, floor layout, Architectural & structural plans. You could have physical or digital copies of these plans sometimes depending on when your property was built.
Amerail WOWs: As a service to ownership, Amerail Systems can scan existing physical plans and provide an electronic version for your convenience.
How to find them: Typically you can find as-builts with existing ownership, the local building department, the Chief Engineer, or with the General Managers.
How to send them/best way to send them: The best way to send digital as-builts is via email or drop-box if the file is too large. Physical copies can be sent by mail for us to scan.
Once your hotel renovation company has your as-builts and the PIP requirements or requests for the new design they will be able to provide you with a draft of your new hotel renovations for you to provide to your brand for approval.
This process can take anywhere from 3-4 months depending on approval from the hotel owner and then approval from the brand as well.
Obtaining approval is dependent upon if your design fulfills the necessary requirements in your PIP. Sometimes things like materials and colors can be negotiated which can cause delays in the renovation process if you’re waiting on a yes or no for a certain design, material, or color changes.
Typically, your hotel renovation company should coordinate with hotel management on a schedule that fits your hotel and its guests best.
Issues that could come up when determining your schedule for renovations include things like events taking place in your hotel, sold-out nights, seasonal weather, etc.
The best way to handle these issues is to start planning as soon as possible and choose the right contractor.
Hotel renovation companies like Amerail Systems which specialize in hospitality renovations will work with you to come up with a plan that takes your guests and their satisfaction into consideration.
At Amerail Systems we recommend getting started early on your hotel renovation to help prepare for issues that can arise during the hotel renovation process.
Finding EIFS Damage
One of the most common unexpected costs and time set-backs of a hotel renovation is water damage to the EIFS.
Water damage to the EIFS is usually caused by leaking windows that allow water to infiltrate the EIFS & damage the substrate.
To be best prepared for your hotel renovation, check for damage to the EIFS and inform your contractor as soon as possible.
Here are some signs of damage to your EIFS:
Bulges in the EIFS
Cracks on or around window and door caulking joints
Soft wood near windows/doors
Discolored or soft areas
Click through to see examples of damaged EIFS:
Amerail WOWs: When we come across damage to the EIFS we notify ownership immediately and will repair the damage at a time and material rate so we can continue providing you with a top tier hotel renovation.
Obtaining permits is one of the most time consuming parts in a pre-hotel renovation process.
Depending on location and which municipality the property is located in, the permit process could take 30-90 days.
Our advice on this issue is to get started on your renovation early so you can avoid time set backs due to gathering permits.
Permits are obtained after submitting signed off construction drawings which can only be completed after a signed contract and deposit has been received and after designs & drawings have been approved.
Issues During a Hotel Renovation
Weather plays a vital part in the scheduling and executing of exterior hotel renovations.
Hotel renovations are usually scheduled for times of the year where the weather is best. This is because it makes the process a lot smoother. Exceptions can be made if the hotel owner is willing to pay for tenting and heating.
Remember to plan when your renovation will take place according to your locations weather. Consider if your location has extreme weather seasons and make sure to avoid renovations during that time.
There are necessary temperatures and conditions to renovate in and if your hotel resides in a warmer climate you can choose almost any time of the year to renovate. While in the cooler climates, we suggest beginning your hotel renovations in the Spring. Sometimes exceptions can be made if hotel owners or managers want to purchase tenting and heating.
But this does not mean that you can't get the process started early!
The steps leading up to the actual renovation can take 7-12 months, the sooner this part is completed, the sooner renovations can begin when the weather permits it.
Supply Chain Problems
Because of the pandemic, the hotel industry has seen and increase in supply chain issues and inflation.
According to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America, construction material costs increased by about 20% in 2021.
At Amerail Systems we've experienced 4-6 weeks in additional time to receive some building and FF&E products (about a 25% increase). We've also seen a price increase of 10-20% for these products.
While these issues may be caused by bigger external problems the whole world is facing, you can alleviate the stress of them by planning for extra time in your renovation. Working with a hotel industry experienced contractor can also help as they are most familiar with brand approved materials and products.
Amerail WOWs: At Amerail Systems we will utilize our value-engineering skillset to provide hotel owners with cost saving solutions without sacrificing quality.
With any hotel renovation the goal is to improve the guest experience and increase the value of the hotel. So it's no surprise that keeping guests satisfied while undergoing a renovation to your hotel property is one of the most important things to consider.
Noise and debris can be off-putting to travelers but there are ways to make sure these won't be an issue or at least as big of an issue.
For this issue, communication & transparency is key. Inform your upcoming guests about the renovations and highlight how the remodel will improve their experience in any future stays.
If applicable, make sure to emphasize that you are working with an experienced, guest friendly contracting company and that plans have been arranged so guests are not disturbed.
Include images of renderings depicting how your property will look after the renovations to drum up excitement.
Signage in your common areas and entrance way will also help you inform your guests about the renovation as well as give you a chance to promote your hotels future look with renderings.
Overcoming Hotel Renovation Issues
Congratulations on finishing this article! You're now better prepared to overcome potential issues in your hotel renovation.
Remember to contact Amerail Systems for your hotel renovation & repair needs.
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